Contempt Threat Gets Facebook To Turn Over Full Info For 381 Users

While Facebook loves sharing incredibly detailed information about users’ interests and web-browsing habits with marketers, the social media network isn’t so keen on making massive amounts of user info available to prosecutors, presumably because the district attorney’s office isn’t looking to buy ads. Facebook announced last night that it’s currently fighting warrants from authorities in New York who are looking to get data on a group of 381 users. [More]

(Michelle Rick)

Police Must Now Have A Warrant To Search Your Phone

The Supreme Court today put an end to years of contentious debate over whether or not police can search the phones of people they arrest without first getting a warrant, ruling unanimously that law enforcement must always have a warrant before they can do the search. [More]

The symbol for the element Yo-inium?

Yo Founder: We Were Lucky To Get Hacked (And Everything Is Fixed Now)

The makers of one-word messaging app Yo are sounding the all-clear after reports last week that the app could easily be hacked, leaving users’ phone numbers at risk. But also? That whole thing was a good thing, the founder explains. [More]

LinkedIn Has To Face User Lawsuit Over E-Mail Privacy Violations, Judge Rules

LinkedIn Has To Face User Lawsuit Over E-Mail Privacy Violations, Judge Rules

We’ve all been there: somebody you knew like eight years ago joins LinkedIn, and the site asks you to go add them as a contact. You ignore the e-mail, because hey, you don’t even remember Bob that well, but LinkedIn doesn’t let it go. It asks you again and again to go add Bob to your network. And by the third message you might well be thinking, “Bob! Stop it! I never want to hear from you again! Go away!” Well, now Bob — and all the real, actual people just like him — can sue LinkedIn about that, a court has ruled. [More]

NSA Chief Defends Legality Of Facial Recognition Program

NSA Chief Defends Legality Of Facial Recognition Program

As you’ve probably heard, it was recently revealed that the National Security Agency has been scouring online images and using facial-recognition technology to track suspected terrorists, giving rise to justifiable concerns that the NSA has records of your every selfie, headshot, portrait, and drunken mugging. But the agency’s head is now attempting to do some damage control by saying that everything his people do is on the up-and-up. [More]


Google Launches Forget-Me Form For EU Users Who Want Search Data Removed

Earlier this month, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that consumers have a legal “right to be forgotten” when it comes to Internet search engines and said there should be a way for users to request that certain data be excised from Google’s results. In response, the company has created a form that anyone in the 28 affected EU countries can use to ask to be forgotten. [More]

Facebook Makes “Friends Only” The Privacy Default For New Users

Facebook Makes “Friends Only” The Privacy Default For New Users

For years, when new users joined Facebook, the default privacy setting had been to share your every baby photo/quote of the day/quiz result/divisive political rant with the public at large. Users had to opt into higher levels of privacy to limit their updates to smaller groups. But today Facebook announced that the default setting for new users is to only share posts with folks on their lists of friends. [More]


Private Companies Building Giant Unregulated Databases Tracking License Plate Location Info

Do you know everywhere your car has been in the past week? Month? Year? You may or may not remember it all, but there’s a good chance that your license plate has had its photo snapped, and its location recorded, a whole bunch of times in that period. And anyone who can pony up the cash for a subscription to that database can tell exactly where you’ve been. [More]

(Pixteca | Len & Pix【ツ】)

Europe’s Highest Court Tells Google People Have The “Right To Be Forgotten”

When you search for yourself on Google — and don’t deny you’ve done it at least once — do you love absolutely every bit of information that comes up? No, but you figure, it’s on the Internet, so it’s there forever. But Europe’s highest court has ruled that people have the “right to be forgotten,” and that they should be able to ask Google to remove certain sensitive information from Internet search results. [More]

Snapchat Settles Federal Charges It Misled Users About Privacy

Snapchat Settles Federal Charges It Misled Users About Privacy

One of the reasons people use the Snapchat messaging app, especially for messages that one may not want to have a permanent record of, is that those texts and photos supposedly disappear shortly after being received by another user.

But the Federal Trade Commission accused the service of not only over-promising and under-delivering on this notion of vanishing messages, but that it also deceived users about the amount of personal data it collected. [More]

Proposed Rule Allows Banks To Post Privacy Disclosures Online Instead Of Using Snail Mail

Proposed Rule Allows Banks To Post Privacy Disclosures Online Instead Of Using Snail Mail

Each year banking institutions must send consumers a privacy notice through the mail. To cut costs and better streamline the practice, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing a new rule that would allow customers to see the privacy disclosures online. [More]


UPS Delivers Stranger’s Package To My House, Tells Them Where To Find It

UPS delivers 15 million items every day, so maybe it’s inevitable that some of them will end up in the wrong place. The problem is what happens when they deliver a package to the wrong place: say, 101 Truman Street instead of 101 Truman Avenue. In one man’s case, UPS appeared to have sent a stranger to his home to fetch his own misdelivered package. [More]

Are You OK With A Restaurant Googling You If It Improves Customer Service?

(Michelle Rick)

If you apply for a job, you can rest assured that someone will Google your name or look you up on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and elsewhere before hiring you. If you meet someone via an online dating service, he or she has probably (and wisely) made repeated efforts to look you up on publicly available social media sources in order to make sure you’re not a suspected serial killer. But when you make a reservation at a restaurant, you probably don’t expect anyone there to do any research about you. [More]

If you leave WhatsApp, think of all the brilliant, insightful chats you'll be missing out on.

Feds Remind Facebook & WhatsApp To Respect User Privacy After They Get Married

The Federal Trade Commission is giving a bit of pre-marriage advice to Facebook and one of its many betrothed, messaging app WhatsApp, which said “I do” to Facebook’s $19 billion (with a “b”) proposal back in February. Given Facebook’s past transgressions, the FTC felt that maybe it was worth reminding the giddy-in-love couple that there are laws about what they can and can’t do with users’ data. [More]

Kindly Dinosaur Nags Facebook Users To Check Their Privacy Settings

Kindly Dinosaur Nags Facebook Users To Check Their Privacy Settings

Meet Facebook’s new mascot of accidental oversharing: a kindly blue dinosaur that shows up and gently prods you to think about the privacy settings on your posts. Why a dinosaur? We’re not sure, but it’s definitely cuter than a cartoon annoyed family member or an adorable rendering of a publicly gossiped-about friend. [More]


Don’t Recycle Your Personal Information Into Identity Thieves’ Hands

Recycling paper: it’s supposedly better for the environment han tossing your old paperwork in a landfill, so it makes us feel good. All of our old paperwork is a bountiful harvest for someone who isn’t making brown paper napkins, though. If you aren’t careful, your personal and financial information could get recycled right into someone else’s hands. [More]


Google Beefs Up Gmail Security In Attempt To Keep Out Any Prying Eyes (Cough, NSA, Cough)

In a move that’s likely to make mass-surveillance of its email customers a whole lot harder to pull off, Google announced that it’s just beefed up security for Gmail by only using an encrypted HTTPS connection for all incoming and outgoing messages. [More]

Predictive Models, Secret Scores: How Computers Decide Who You Are & What To Sell You

(Mike Saechang)

Savvy consumers all know that their lifetime debt history ends up in their credit score, and that lenders use that score to try to predict if someone is a good bet for a big loan like a mortgage. But even the most-connected consumer may not realize how many hundreds of other scores we all now trail in our wakes too, thanks to the advent of big data. Do you know, to the last decimal, how likely are you to buy jewelry? To sign up for cable? To have a kid in the next year? Someone, somewhere, is tallying all of that information about almost everyone. But good luck finding out what’s out there, who’s scoring it, and if your numbers are even actually about you at all. [More]